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Baseball seniors play prominent role

Seniors played a prominent role in Coach Scott Miller’s successful 2010 Bainbridge High School baseball season.

The season, which ended Saturday with a two-games-to-one-playoff loss to Region 1-AAAA opponent Harris County High School Tigers at the new Bearcat Field, was highlighted by a second-place Region 1-AAAA South Sub-Region finish.

At the end of the spring sports seasons each year, it hits me that it’s time for the seniors in each sport to move on with their lives and the underclassmen to step up and take over the leadership roles.

While I enjoy all sports, baseball has always been by far my favorite. If you will bear with me, I would like to review some of the many accomplishments of our 2010 Bearcats baseball seniors before they graduate and go on with their lives.

The latest highlight came Saturday when Bearcats senior third baseman Tyler Hutchins blasted a home run in each of the three playoff games with Harris County.

The youngest player on the team, freshman third baseman, designated hitter and pitcher Blake Voyles, was one of the hottest hitters on the team all season.

Two other young players, sophomore second baseman Steven Bench, and sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Massey have also made major contributions during the season.

Senior first baseman Parker Heard also had a big day Saturday highlighted by a key two-run double.

The day also included a true iron man performance, as junior catcher Drew Kelley caught all three games.

Three other juniors, Ryan Wade, Sutton Reece and Caden Black, also made considerable contributions to the successful season.

Wade, who has seen duty in the infield and outfield, has had his share of clutch hits and big defensive plays. Reece, a strong defensive second baseman, has also had some hits at key times, and Black has robbed opposing batters of base hits with big defensive plays on several occasions.

A major highlight of the season came on March 19 when senior right-hander Peyton Willis hurled a no-hitter in a 6-1 region victory over the Westside-Macon High School Seminoles at the new Bearcat Field. He struck out 11 and walked just two along the way.

Junior left-handers Marty Anderson and Thomas Timmons had some impressive pitching performances during the season.

Other seniors who provided leadership on and off the field were outfielder Brock Merchant, first baseman Michael Dobbs, pitcher Shaun Gaskins, shortstop Drew Day, catcher and designated hitter Bryan Digby, outfielder Tom Johnson and first baseman, outfielder and designated hitter Diante Smith.

Another contributor to the Bearcats successful season was junior shortstop Stephen Lightfoot. While he did not play much in the field, his speed as a courtesy runner on the base paths was instrumental in keeping rallies alive.

I wish the baseball seniors nothing but the best in the future, and look forward to covering the underclassmen again next season.